In the course of January 2018, the Syrian regime and its affiliated media escalated their statements against Israel.

The statements came in response to Israel’s continued attacks against the Iranian presence in Syria: On Jan. 11, a Syrian military source reported that Israeli planes had fired several rockets into the Damascus area,[1] and on January 20 the Syrian army reported an Israeli attack in the south of the country, which, unusually, had taken place during the day. [2]The Syrian regime responded by firing a surface-to-surface missile into the Israeli Golan.[3] This prompted Israel to launch what the Syrian regime called “its most violent and large-scale attack” in Syria to date, which, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, resulted in the death of at least 21 people, 12 of them members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).[4] In an unusual move, Israel admitted to carrying out this last attack, one of whose targets was the Damascus international airport.[5]

Alongside its standard responses to the attacks, such as claims that Israel dares to attack Syria only thanks to the support it receives from the Unite States and that the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) is not doing enough to stop it, the Syrian regime has begun taking a harsher tone and threatening a direct attack on Israel. Articles in the regime and pro-regime press likewise made threats, warning Israel that Syria has missile capabilities of which it is unaware and that its end is near.

This report reviews the threats voiced by Syrian officials and in the Syrian press against Israel.


Israeli airstrike in Syria (image: sana.sy, Jan. 21, 2019)

In a Jan. 22 UNSC session on the situation in the Middle East, the Syrian representative to the United Nations, Bashar Al-Ja’afari, criticized the United Nations for failing to condemn “the almost daily Israeli aggression” against Syria, the latest example of which, he said, was Israel’s bombing of the international airport in Damascus. Directing a threatening message at Israel, he asked: “Is it not time that the UNSC took the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli attacks on the soil of the Syrian Arab Republic? Or must Syria draw the attention of the war-mongers on this council by exercising its legitimate right to self-defense and responding to the Israeli attack on the [Damascus] civilian international airport with a similar attack on the airport in Tel Aviv?”[6]

Read full report at MEMRI.